According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, “a total of 1,501 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 58 hours or 150 per year. There were 100 law enforcement officers killed in 2013.”
Citing these statistics in an August 15, 2014 National Review article, Michelle Malkin reported, “These include local and state police officers, federal officers, correctional officers, and military law-enforcement officers.” She also noted that “from August 2013 to August 2014 … total fatalities are up 14 percent, from 63 last year to 72 this year..”
Among the men in uniform who gave their lives this summer:
Police officer Scott Patrick of the Mendota Heights Police Department in Minnesota. He was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop on July 30. Patrick leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters.
Police officer Jeffrey Westerfield of the Gary Police Department in Indiana. Westerfield was shot in the head and killed in a July 6 ambush while sitting in his police vehicle after responding to a 911 call. The suspect had been previously arrested for domestic violence and for kicking another officer. Westerfield, a 19-year police-department veteran as well as an Army veteran, leaves behind a wife and four daughters.
Officer Perry Renn of the Indianapolis Police Department. He was shot and killed while responding to reports of gunfire on July 5. After 20 years on the job, Renn chose to serve in one of the city’s most dangerous areas, even though his seniority would have allowed him to take a less dangerous role. “He chose to work in patrol to make a difference in the field,” police chief Rick Hite said at Renn’s funeral. “Every day, Perry got out of his police car.” Renn is survived by his wife.
Deputy sheriff Allen Bares Jr. of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. The 15-year law-enforcement veteran was shot and killed on June 23 while investigating two suspicious suspects. Bares had been mowing his lawn while off-duty when he witnessed a suspicious car crash. When he went to investigate, he was gunned down. The assailants stole his truck as he lay dying. “He’s the type of person that would give his shirt off his back to anybody,” a cousin said in tribute. “Anyone that knows Allen will tell you that he was that kind of person.” Bares leaves behind a wife and two children.
Police officer Melvin Santiago of the Jersey City Police Department in New Jersey. Santiago, a proud rookie cop who loved his job, was ambushed on July 13 by a homicidal armed robber. Santiago was 23 years old. After Santiago’s killer was shot dead by police, the violent Bloods street gang vowed to “kill a Jersey City cop and not stop until the National Guard is called out.”
In 2014, a total of 121 police officers died in the line of duty.
In the first 26 days of 2015 so far, nine police officers have already died in the line of duty. Five of them were killed in vehicle related accidents (including a vehicle pursuit), one by accidental gunfire and three by heart attack or related illness.
Since this latest “War on Cops” began, it seems that within hours (or even minutes) of a police-related death, the name of the victim is publicized by a blood-thirsty media that positively relishes the opportunity to vilify a cop.
If it weren’t for columnists like Michelle Malkin and a handful of others, the names of fallen police officers would fly under the radar. Because of the deliberate slight by the media, those of us who do care about the men and women who serve and protect are even more determined than ever to make sure that their names will never be forgotten.
One man has made it his mission to “raise the awareness and educate the public that every 58 hours a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty.”
Retired New York City Police Officer Joseph P. Johnson lost his partner in the South Bronx thirty years ago to a vicious killer who shot him in cold blood. The haunting memory of that tragedy led Johnson to produce a documentary entitled Every 58 Hours. The trailer describes the project as:
Every 58 Hours… Is a documentary that analyzes the alarming statistic of Police and Law Enforcement Officers’ death across the United States. It also portrays who cops really are as its main purpose, raising awareness of their value and how much they risk their lives, in order to keep the citizens and the communities they serve, safe. Their relevance to their cities has been lost due to several reasons, both on the citizen’s side and in the cops’ side.
In order to bring his goal to fruition, Officer Johnson is raising money on GoFundMe.com, as well as administrating a Facebook page, Every 58 Hours. So far, he has raised $1,195.00 out of a goal of $7,500.00 in order to bring the final documentary to the small screen.
Thanks to today’s broadcast on NBC Miami, Officer Johnson’s project may help bring some much needed attention to the stark reality that police lives do matter.
It is my hope that more people will be moved by not only Officer Johnson’s very personal story, but also by the dire statistics ignored by a complicit media which helped foster the current anti-police climate so prevalent across the country.
A recent study conducted by Richard Johnson, Ph.D., the Criminal Justice Program of the University of Toledo, Ohio, Examining the Prevalence of Deaths from Police Use of Force, found that of 56,259 homicides in the United States from 2009 through 2012, “1,491 [or about 2.65%] were the result of a police use of force.” While 755 of them were accidental, or negligent, homicides and 1,120 were classified as “justifiable homicide by citizens acting in self-defense,” the remaining 53,893 – or approximately 95.55% – were criminal homicides committed by civilians.
The study further noted during 2012:
With all the negative stories being aired about police officers of late, and especially the “racist cop” narrative being pushed by those with a self-serving, anti-police agenda, not enough attention is being brought to the fact that the men and women who choose a career in law enforcement are risking their lives for the rest of us every single day that they show up for duty.
While all lives should matter, far too many people ignore the deaths of police officers at the hands of vicious, cold blooded murderers. Far too many people ignore the fact that police officers are real live human beings.
When a police officer is killed in the line of duty, he or she always leaves behind at least one person whose entire world is forever crushed.
When a police officer is killed in the line of duty, he or she leaves behind grieving spouses, children, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins and in-laws, who will never, ever see their loved one’s face or hear their voice again.
When a police officer is killed in the line of duty, he or she also leaves behind colleagues who know with gut-wrenching certainty that it could have been them.
When a police officer is killed in the line of duty, he or she gave all so that you and I didn’t have to.
Are there “bad” cops on the force? Of course, there are, and they need to be weeded out. Just ask North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess.
(Oh, wait. Don’t.)
By the same token, there are also “bad” teachers, doctors, politicians, lawyers, and used car salesmen.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of “bad” people out there, many of whom think nothing of breaking the law or killing you for your iPhone.
But consider this statistic.
While the number of good cops far outnumber the exceedingly few bad ones, the number of criminals on the street practically eclipse the amount of law enforcement officers empowered to stop them.
We can’t afford to lose even one police officer.
And, yet, one is killed in the line of duty “Every 58 Hours.”
“Spreading the Wealth”